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Mother gets 10 years for shaking baby to death

TimesLedger Newspapers

FAR ROCKAWAY — A Far Rockaway mother was sentenced to 10 years in prison for violently shaking her 7-month-old daughter, who later died of the injuries she sustained, District Attorney Richard Brown said.

According to Brown, Nyemah Nickens, 21, repeatedly shook her crying daughter Nyla Nickens while at her boyfriend’s house until the infant stopped crying. Around 5 a.m. the next morning, Brown said, Nickens heard her daughter make a crying sound and was in an abnormal condition.

Upon visiting the hospital, it was determined that the infant suffered a serious brain injury, Brown said. Though the baby underwent a procedure to relieve pressure on her skull, Brown said she succumbed to her injury four days later, which was consistent with the non-accidental trauma of Shaken Baby Syndrome.

“For those who do not believe that shaking a baby can cause serious and irreparable injury or even death, this case, and the defendant’s confession, is a grim reminder that caretakers and parents can and do shake children to death,” Brown said.

Nickens pleaded guilty last month to first-degree assault and second-degree manslaughter.

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Jeremy Michael from FAR ROCKAWAY says:
Obviously, everyone believes that it's possible to shake a baby to death, despite assertions to the contrary.

The only question is whether or not you can do so without other visible signs of injury, or damage to the neck. I would guess that in this case, there was also other physical signs of trauma, and there was probably an impact to the head of the poor infant. If that's the case, the shaking is like a slap in the face compared to a gunshot to the head. I don't think we're getting the full story.
June 19, 2012, 9:46 am

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